Timing Your Meals Around a Workout While Keto

Published: June 20, 2019

Timing Your Meals Around a Workout While Keto

Timing is everything, so the ketogenic diet is great and you get a lot of benefits from it, but we can enhance it even more by messing around with our nutrient timing. Nutrient timing is what allows us to activate specific hormones that allow us to burn more fat. It’s what allows us to trigger our bodies to go into specific modes where they not only burn more fat, but potentially build muscle. And who doesn’t want that? Especially when it comes down to trying to lose weight or cut when you’re on a ketogenic diet, right? I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo and we’re going to break down some nutrient timing so that you can get the most out of your ketogenic diet if you’re trying to burn some fat.

Training Time Period

Okay so the first thing we have to look at is your training time period. So what time of day you actually workout. See one of the things that I highly, highly, highly recommend is that you train in a fasted state. Now this doesn’t mean that you have to practice intermittent fasting, but it means that if you wake up and you want to workout in the morning, that you workout in the morning in somewhat of a fasted state. Now if you’re already in ketosis, this is just going to enhance the effect of ketosis, right? You’re going to already be in the state where your body is pulling its own fat sources, pulling its own reserves for energy. So that’s rule number one. Make sure you train in a fasted state. Now the next thing is, when do you time your meals post workout if you’re training in the morning? Now I’ll talk about training in the afternoon in just a second. If you’re training in the morning, you don’t want to eat a meal right after you workout. You see a lot of people will tell you that you should be feeding a bunch of protein and get your fuel in right after a workout because you need to refuel. The reality is, protein synthesis stays elevated for a long time, literally like 24 hours, so you have 24 hours to get your protein in to recover from a workout.

Starve Yourself After a Workout

The reason that you want to continue to essentially starve yourself or not eat after a workout is because you’re going to ride what’s called the wave effect. After a workout, your body is still burning fat. You have post-exercise oxygen consumption, basically, you’re still exhausted from the workout so your body’s still consuming fuel. But you also have other metabolic factors. So I recommend waiting like one to two hours after your workout before you actually eat. And then you can resume your normal ketogenic style of eating, whatever your ration of fats to protein might be. Okay, I recommend having a little bit higher fat with this meal and then next meal, reduce the fat a little bit. Now here’s the reason I recommend that. When you are in a ketogenic state, you’re priming your body with fats, right? You’re feeding your body fat so that it produces ketones.

Well what you do want to do periodically is reduce your fat intake simply because what’s going to happen with that is your body’s going to have no choice but to pull from its existing fat stores. You see, you’ve essentially spoiled your body. I hate to use the air quotes there, but for lack of a better way of saying it, that’s how it works, right? You’ve given your body a bunch of fats, it’s used to it, and then when you do deprive it of those fats, it seeks them out, so it tries to pull them m from your body fat. So that’s why I recommend going higher fat and then bringing it back down to lower fat midday and then bringing it back to higher fat later in the day. Of course, do this in conjunction with riding the wave after your workout and you have a really powerful effect.

Effects of Training Later in the Day

Now what if you train later in the day? What if you train in the afternoon, because I know a lot of people do. Well then I highly recommend going at least four hours from your last meal before you work out. So let’s say you workout at five p.m., I would want you to finish lunch by one p.m. and don’t touch a single thing to eat until then. Okay, don’t touch a single thing until you’re done with your workout. Now if you’re working out in the evening, you can get away with pushing that post workout meal a little bit closer to your workout because I know you don’t want to eat directly before bed. But, the reality is, the longer you can push it, the better effect you’re going to get. You just want to be entering that workout in as close to a fasted state as possible. Overnight is the best, but four hours will do worse comes to worse.

How Much Protein to Take In

Now additionally, when it comes down to how much protein you want to be taking in, you have to remember that the ketogenic diet offers a pretty significant buffer to muscle catabolism. Meaning, the ketones themselves make it so that your body doesn’t breakdown a lot of muscle. So this is a great thing, you can get away with less protein. I usually tell people be less concerned with the protein and more concerned with the fat. The only time that you want to be paying close attention to the protein that you get in is when you don’t have fats along with it. So for example, your midday meal when you’re bringing your fats down a little bit lower, would be a great time to maybe increase your protein intake by about 30%, simply because it is going to increases thermogenesis. It does take approximately 20% more calories to burn protein than it does any other macronutrients. So take advantage of that effect. Now you do of course want to make sure that you’re always measuring. That’s just a simple bio-individuality thing. Know when your ketones are at their highest, know when they’re at their lowest, and you can cater and design your workouts accordingly. So as always, keep it locked in here with Keto-Mojo and leave the guess work out of the equation and leave that measuring to the meter. I’ll see you soon.


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